From c.1924 until the 1960s, ‘Chester’ 24 Meredith Street was the home of the Hopman family. This house was owned by John Henry Hopman, father of famed tennis player and coach Harry Hopman [1906-1985]. Tennis courts were located at the rear of 22 and 24 Meredith Street until they were sold and subdivided in 1961, creating a new residential lot on Broughton Road. Harry Hopman reputedly used the courts for social tennis, practice and tennis coaching. Hopman apparently lived here until c.1934, when he married tennis player Nell Hall.
Hopman’s father John Hopman was a teacher and headmaster of Rosehill Public Primary school. Harry Hopman was a noted player and won many titles, however he is best known as captain and coach of 22 Australian Davis Cup teams. Hopman coached the Australian Davis Cup Team to 16 wins between 1939 and 1967, with players such as Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, Neale Fraser, John Newcombe, Fred Stolle, Tony Roche, Roy Emerson, Ashley Cooper, Rex Hartwig, Mervyn Rose, and Mal Anderson. Harry Hopman was also a journalist, providing sporting commentary. After World War II, this became his career until he recommended tennis coaching. He moved to the United States in 1969 and established a teaching academy. Some of the players he coached included John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1978. The Hopman Cup for mixed doubles play is named in his honour.
In the late 1950s, Strathfield Council named a street in Chullora, Hopman Crescent. It was one of three streets named for sporting identities from the Strathfield district, the others were athlete Marlene Matthews and cricketer Alan Davidson. Unfortunately, Hopman Crescent was built on land which has since been consolidated resulting in the street being abolished. This is now site of Dick Smith Electronics Head Office.
Harry Hopman – Career Highlights
Singles finalist 1930-1932
Doubles (winner) 1929-1930
Doubles finalist 1931-1932
Mixed Doubles (winner) 1930, 1936-1937, 1939
Mixed finalist 1940
Doubles finalist 1930, 1948
Mixed finalist 1945
Doubles finalist 1939
Australia Davis Cup
Team member 1928, 1930, 1932
Captain 1938-1939, 1950-1969
Winning captain 1939, 1950-1953, 1955-1957, 1959-1962, 1964-1967
Losing captain 1938, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1968
© Cathy Jones 2005. This article is subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission of the author.